Loving, Film Review. Picturehouse@F.A.C.T., Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

Cast: Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Will Dalton, Terri Abney, Alano Miller, Chris Greene, Christopher Mann, Mike Shiflett, Lance lemon, Marton Csokas, Bill Camp, David Jensen, Andrene Ward-Hammond, Nick Kroll, Jon Bass, Michael Shannon.

It will seem pretty amazing, completely and horrifyingly absurd to younger audiences who make their way to see Loving, that as little as 60 years ago it was against the law in the vast majority of the United States to marry a person of a different colour was punishable by being committed to a jail term. Even an inter-racial kiss shown on television, in a science fiction series was still enough to cause a meltdown in the minds of many audiences, yet for a kiss between William Shatner and Nichelle Nichols that heralded many breaking down of barriers in the United States psyche, it still managed to only highlight the insanity of the country’s political thought, which even now in the eyes of the world, can often beggar belief.

Loving is from before the time of Star Trek, when Captain Kirk and Nyota Uhura were able to kiss without it being considered unseemly and indeed was a great source of joy for Doctor Martin Luther King as a step towards equality; equality was far from a reality in 1950s America, to live with a person of different colour was enough to see local state law get its pants in a twist, for Mildred and Richard Loving, to want to be together meant being forced out of the state they both were born in and being subjected to a repressive and utterly draconian law.

The true story of this incredible couple is captured with heart-breaking effect in Loving, a tale that shows just how far we have come as a species, as a society and yet just how far we can fall back to if people without conscious decide to take the country into a place of darkness and shadow. For it is not too far removed from the Jewish laws in Nazi Germany and even the insanity of not allowing gay people to get married to the ones they love; love is love after all and Loving somebody is very special.

With superb performances by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as Richard and Mildred Loving and Marton Csokas as the aggressively racist deputy, Loving is reminder of what there is to lose in the world if we regress, if we allow someone’s vision of society to mean segregation and division.

A beautiful, heartbreaking film which leaves the audience feeling anger but also hope, Loving is important, loving is the best feeling there is.

Ian D. Hall